As the self-esteem movement has grown internationally, there has been a corresponding increase in approaches positing what it takes to develop or "build" self-esteem. There are also different ideas about exactly what role self-esteem plays in people's day to day lives. In our work over the last twenty-five years, we have observed a steadily expanding body of evidence that supports a coherent; principle based understanding of self-esteem. This understanding of self-esteem not only shows consistency across studies, but also has demonstrated lasting positive outcomes in both long-term pilot-demonstration programs and control group studies (Benard, 1996a; Health Realization Institute, April 2000; Mills, 1996): Roe & Bowser, 1993; Pransky, J, 1998). The principles behind this understanding have also shed light on some of the "thorniest" issues facing people in this emerging field. Health Realization and Innate Self Esteem Our work has come to be known as "Health Realization" in the fields of prevention, community empowerment and early intervention. All our work is based on facilitating people's understanding of three fundamental Principles that determine their psychological experience of life. These principles are Mind; the universal intelligence & the formless energy behind life, Consciousness, our ability as human beings to experience reality and to recognize how that experience is formed and Thought, the fabric of each person's reality. These Principles are inseperable, and interweave, moment to moment, giving each of us the ability to create any reality via our capacity for free will and our birthright as thinking human beings (Banks, 1998). When people begin to grasp how these three Principles work together in everyday life, they start to see the inside-out nature of experience. Across a wide variety of programs, we observed people discover these principles underneath Thought as behind their reality. They immediately regain an unshakable self-esteem (Health Realization Institute, April, 2000; Borg, 1997; Mills, 1996; Pransky, J., 1998, 1999). These results have led us to conclude that unconditional self esteem, along with other attributes of mental health, are everyone's birthright. Feelings of unconditional self worth and happiness come from inside all of us, as soon as we get our personal thinking out of the way. One of the most powerful things about tapping into this inner source of self esteem is that it frees us from the need to live up to or prove ourselves via standards or norms from the outside. Rather than replacing the need to prove ourselves or live up to anyone's expectations with other "re-conditioned" expectations or beliefs, something else happens. A less self conscious, more natural state of grace and wisdom bubbles up and captures our attention.